Blue Iris is challenging because there are so many external dependencies that could cause issues with BI. Below are a few of the many external dependencies:
- Hardware drivers from Intel or NVidia for decoding live streams
- Camera vendors to provide reliable streams with supported encoding.
- Gmail or other email servers for email alerts
- Apple / Google platform for mobile app push notifications
- Custom integrations via http request and mqtt interfaces
The Blue Iris status log webinar walks through this article if you prefer to listen instead.
This article fills two purposes.
- If you are a new user or just installed BI on a machine, it's always good to go through this article just to confirm Windows settings are not in conflict with BI functionality. BI can be run either as a regular Windows application or as a Windows service.
The first section is applicable to both deployments. It walks through anti-virus software exclusions needed for BI to run properly.
The second section is applicable to deployments where you run BI as a service.
New installs can stop after these two sections.
- The other purpose for this article is if your machine is running into Instability.
Then users are advised to revisit the first two sections depending on your deployment choice.
Then users need to continue on with the Instability / Crashes section to identify the issue and resolve the Instability.
Local admin account
Double check your Windows user accounts and permissions. Specifically, BI runs best under a local admin account.
Follow the Windows instructions to create a local windows account with admin privileges.
If you log into your Windows machine as a non-admin user and then start BI it is very possible the BI application will not have the proper permissions to write to the storage drives specified in Clips and archiving.
Your Security Software (Windows defender, McAfee, BitDefender etc) or a Security Software update is interfering with Blue Iris.
Symptoms: Performance issues, Crashes, Software will not start, Auto-update is blocked, UI3 is not connecting are all symptoms due to improper software security exemptions.
Below is an example of robust Software Security Exemptions for Windows Defender. Similar exemptions need to be provided for your Security Software.It seems like either the last update to BI or an update to windows 10 has stopped the ui3 from showing anything on the screen. All I am getting is a Spinning Circle.
It was the dang SOPHOS anti virus. I figured it out
- Note the BI executable is excluded: BlueIris.exe
- Note ALL the BI folders (New, DB, Stored, Alerts etc) for storage are excluded.
In my case, all these folders reside under G:\BlueIris so only one exclusion was needed to cover ALL my folders.
If you have a NAS device, make sure the NAS device is excluded from a folder perspective AND a firewall perspective.
- Note bvr file types are excluded
See help file topic "Security Software Exemption" in the Help file as well. This section provides additional details associated with other vendors (McAfee, Malware Bytes etc). If you are experiencing instability, the easiest step to take is to just turn off your security software and observe over time if the issues go away. The Performance and Troubleshooting webinar is also helpful. https://www.youtube.com/c/BlueIrisSupport
Windows BitLocker is another security measure provided with Windows 10 which allows encryption of the hard drive. BI performs constant reads/writes to storage. Most users have not enabled BitLocker.
Quote from another user.
I figured it out. Somehow the check box for allowing blue iris in bitdefender was turned off. Not sure how that could have happened.
There is no way BI can talk with your cameras or the web interface or the mobile apps unless BI is allowed access to the network.
Windows allows the ability to categorize networks as public or private. My server running BI is connected directly to my switch containing all the cameras and does not move. I'm not concerned about whether I categorized my network correctly since I know it is physically safe on my private switch. Thus I keep Firewall settings simple and allow access to all networks, the public and private network as seen below.
You may have BI running on a laptop that you use at Starbucks and other networks. In those cases, labeling networks as private / public and allowing BI access to private networks is more of a concern that should be addressed.
If you receive the below error at startup, it could be the internet service is down, your network equipment (switches/routers) or cables went bad etc. Definitely check those components first. It could also very well be your firewall is blocking BI.
The database folder is often on the SAME drive as the New folder because we recommend both folders to be on your fastest local SSD drive.
Keep in mind the drive needs to have enough free space for the BI database functions to operate. In particular, make sure there is enough free space on the drive containing the database to duplicate/copy the Database folder at all times. If the db folder is 200 MB, than BI will need at least 2x or 400MB of free space on the drive.
Best practice is to NOT use all the storage space available on SSD drives. Many vendors recommend leaving 25% of a drive empty for optimal performance. Maintaining this convention should suffice for BI needs.
Do not uncheck Limit clip age in the Alerts folder. By doing so, you effectively told BI never to delete Alerts in the database causing the database to grow indefinitely.
If you use Network storage there are three important steps to make the storage work with BI.
1. Make sure the NAS drive is completely exempt from your anti-virus software.
2. Make sure the username/password used to access the NAS matches your Windows login credentials.
3. Use the UNC name in BI, not a drive letter.
For example, \\ipaddress\sharepoint
Any time there are problems with NAS devices, it almost always has to do with permission issues or the NAS stopped communicating with the BI server. The issue unfortunately typically manifests itself with the drive containing the New folder (often the C: drive) filling up and crashing the server. The logs will show the write errors well before filling up the C: drive, but this requires users paying attention to the Status button when it turns red or occasionally monitoring their logs for errors.
The tell tale errors are MoveFile Errors as seen in the below log snippet. See Log Files - Storage/Record Issues article for details on how to uncover storage issues on your BI server.
Code: Select all
0 7/19/2021 7:32:01.679 PM New Move: 2 items 3.66G [602.1G/600.0G, 326.2G free] 126 locked 0 7/19/2021 7:32:01.788 PM Stored Delete: 2 items 4.24G [2.93T/2.92T, 1.99T free] 0 7/19/2021 7:32:01.791 PM Alerts Delete: nothing to do [1439/4800 hrs, 895.5M/100.0G, 329.9G free] 1 7/19/2021 7:32:01.860 PM Clips MoveFile Error 2: F:\BlueIris\New\FrontDoor.20210719_080000.bvr 1 7/19/2021 7:32:01.925 PM Clips MoveFile Error 2: F:\BlueIris\New\FrontDoorStation.20210719_080000.bvr
Use the exact same Windows username/password on your NAS device to provide the easiest chance for BI to access your NAS storage.
Check the Storage tab in the Status button to see whether BI recognizes your NAS device. Pay attention to log errors also, as mentioned above.
Second, you need to make sure your NAS is working properly. The Log Files - Storage/Record Issues article mentioned above is a case where the user's NAS would run correctly for 21 straight days before denying access to BI and causing BI to crash a few days later.
Below is a quote from another user that decided to replace his NAS storage.
I went to the Status page, which showed the overallocated storage, and clicked on Repair DB. Then slowly the data migrated to NAS storage. Maybe it lost contact with the NAS and needed a kick to restart it. All is well, now.
I'll download the NAS logs and give you more information shortly.
I tried to dump the logs on the NAS, but it hung up and now won't boot. Probably too much log. So it looks like the NAS just wasn't responding like it should.
The logs are the first place to look for Storage errors.
First make sure you have Storage events recorded to the logs.
Next, check the logs for Storage errors.
As mentioned above, the Log Files - Storage/Record Issues article/webinar is a case study on how to uncover storage issues on your BI server.
Starting with Microsoft Windows XP and still available in Windows 10 there is a recovery tool called ‘System Restore’. Essentially this tool takes snap-shots of critical files at certain points in time (e.g. software installations, system updates, etc. as well as at your request.) These system restore points are accumulated and if needed will often (but not always) return a PC to its operating status at the selected point-in-time.
Since it is part of the Operating System and easy to use, we highly recommend using it. See Windows Tools article for details.
Running BI as a Service
Running BI as a service is a very popular feature. Running as a service means BI is always running in the background. Windows will automatically restart the service if the application crashes. The "Running as a Service" topic in Help explains all the details associated with setting up BI to run as a service. Below are known issues based on past tickets.
Running Service as LocalSystem
While discouraged, it is possible to run a Windows service under the account "localsystem" by leaving username/password blank when selecting to run BI as a service (image below). LocalSystem may not have the access rights for certain functions. A common issue is alerts to run batch files or MQTT commands may not get executed when the service is run under the LocalSystem account. Running BI as a Windows service under the account "LocalSystem" can also cause instability because localsystem may not have the needed privileges for NAS devices or sending alerts. See Help file, Topic "Running as a Service" for details.
Follow steps below to fix:
Basic idea: Disable and re-enable the service to run under a Windows account instead of localsystem.
Create a local windows account with admin privileges.
Global settings -> Startup tab ->Run as a Windows service. Uncheck selection. Restart BI.
Go back to Global settings -> Startup tab -> Run as a Windows service. Re-check the selection.
Enter your own local Windows account (w/ admin privileges) in pop-up dialog
Restart BI once again as a service.
- If you are using a NAS device for storage, the Windows username/password used to run the service has to be identical to the credentials on the NAS device otherwise writing to the NAS device will not work.
If you get the 1057 error, i.e. “Failed to install service (1057)”, the username chosen above to run the service does not exist or is invalid. Follow instructions above to create a local Windows account with admin privileges. Run Windows Services -> Right click Blue Iris Service -> Properties -> Log on tab. Specify username / password.
The 1069 Windows error occurs when the password associated with the Windows username associated with the service has changed. Run Windows Services -> Right click Blue Iris Service -> Properties -> Log on tab -> reset the password.
Auto-update fails because update program cannot stop the service. Following error message appears.
- Stop the Blue Iris Service manually. From the Windows search bar, type services and bring up the Services console.
- Select the Blue Iris service.
- Select "Stop service"
- Start BI.
- Return to BI. Global settings -> Startup tab -> Run as a Windows service. Check the selection.
- Restart BI. BI should start as a service.
Auto-update fails because update program cannot stop BI. Following error message appears. (Similar issue as above)
- Stop Blue Iris manually.
- Restart the machine.
- Find where you downloaded the update or just go to blueirissoftware.com and download the latest version.
- Install/start the latest version and you should be good to go.
Web server has incorrect IP Address
On rare occasions, Windows will start the BI service before initializing the network card/stack. This results in the BI web server binding to a random ethernet interface even though you told BI to bind exclusively to a particular ethernet interface.
The temporary fix is to restart the service. The permanent fix is to configure Windows to delay the start of the BI service. This should provide Windows the needed time to configure all the available ethernet adapters before starting the BI service.
- Know your license key. The easiest way to store your license key is to mail your support info to yourself.
This way you will always have a copy of your license in your email.
- When your BI is running perfectly, SAVE a copy of your BI registry settings.
If you change settings or add a camera and you have BI running perfectly, SAVE a copy of your BI registry settings.
FYI, BI automatically saves your settings from the last 3 days. Go to your program installation directory, usually "C:\Program Files\Blue Iris 5". You will find 3 settings: backup.reg, backup2.reg and backup3.reg from newest to oldest.
After you have your system setup, you still need to monitor BI is running well on an ongoing basis. Fortunately, doing so is easy in BI.
Setup your Status Alerts. Status button -> Log tab -> Status alerts.
Users can create alerts (push, email, sms) when there are system log errors to catch an issue early.
All the different types of alerts are located in Status -> Log tab. Select "Status Alerts" button. Hit the Help button in the dialog for details.
The Status Log Errors article (work in progress) provides some more level of details.
Furthermore, users can also create alerts for each and every camera that is causing issues (e.g. no signal).
Camera settings -> Watchdog tab has details.
If you tend to be near the BI server, this allows you to examine the machine near the time of errors in order to gather clues to instability prior to a possible crash.
Many users just open their BI in the morning, select the current day and play back events across all cameras using the timeline view or per camera using the clips list. Doing so, tests a lot of functionality at once and makes you aware when cameras are not monitoring correctly, e.g. no alerts came from one camera all night.
Leverage the Log tab
The Log tab is a wealth of information especially when you are trying to figure out if something new you are trying to build is working.
For example, Group triggers and Alerts can get complicated and hairy especially if the Group has more than two cameras.
First recommendation, get Group triggers working with two cameras before adding to the group.
Understand the log events associated with the simple use case so when you add cameras to the group, you can figure out what is going on or breaking.
If your Push alerts stopped firing, the log tab is great way to know if the BI server is firing Push notifications.
If so, the problem resides with your network or mobile app.
If not, something is wrong with your BI settings.
The log window aggregates the same command. This is beneficial when you are in front of the console and have the log tab open.
As BI performs functions based on your settings, you see the events pop up in the logs. It's a great way to understand what BI is doing based on your settings. The aggregation helps you digest the info.
Otherwise the logs would scroll too fast.
Do not forget to check the Save to file checkbox in order to write the logs to disk. Logs are needed for below.
Software will not start
If the software does not start, the only remedy is to adjust the registry until the software does start.
The Software Startup Issues article will walk you through necessary steps.
Bookmarking this article is advised. Always good to know how to manipulate the registry to get the software running.
Instability / Crashes
If instability continues after above checks, continue reading.
Log files: Minimum information for any ticket
Submitting a ticket stating your BI server is crashing will not lead to any resolution. At the very least, we need to know what errors are found in the Status -> Log and the details from the Event viewer.
Go to the Status dialog (button with chart and arrow in top left of console) to understand how the server is performing.
- Log tab: Any errors? See Status Log Errors article for error details. The Help button in the Status dialog has additional information also.
- Review the log file NOT the log tab. The log tab has information since the last restart.
The log file contains the events BEFORE the crash so we know what BI was doing prior to the crash.
Common mistake: Users send a screenshot of the Status log tab. This provides all the events AFTER the crash (restart).
In order to find out what happened BEFORE the crash, you need to go to the log files. Status button -> Log tab -> Open file (button at bottom).
Go to bottom of log file. Search up for all Restart after unexpected... events. Do you see common events before a crash?
- Status -> Cameras: Are the camera streams healthy. See Camera Stream Optimization article for details. Help button has additional information also.
- Status -> Clip Storage. Any red errors? See corresponding Help file by pushing Help. The Storage and Recording section of the Checklist has details.
Understanding the log file
The log file is really good for providing clues when external functionality that BI depends on is NOT functioning.
The Status Log Errors article provides details on errors and events in the log file.
The major categories are:
- DeepStack: 3rd party solution
- Storage: Hardware. Hard drive
- Database: Proxy for hardware issue. Hard drive
- Recording: Hardware. Hard drive
- GPU: Hardware. GPU
- Memory: Hardware. Memory
- ONVIF Trigger: Hardware. Camera
- Registry: Windows
- 3rd Party software
The event code is the first column (digit) in every line.
- 0 = Informational event
- 1 = Warning
- 2 = Errors
- 3 = Motion events
- 4 = Check marks
- 10 = user access (login / logout)
Address Warnings when time is available.
Best way to make sense of log files is with examples. The list of examples will grow over time.
At this point, Windows and BI have no conflicts.
Anti-virus and firewall settings are set correctly.
Server hardware is ok: RAM, Hard drives, NAS devices
Cameras are ok.
Network is ok.
Windows Event Viewer
The Windows Event Viewer confirms application crashes and the cause. In the BI Help file, follow instructions in the Troubleshooting and FAQ section to examine the Windows Event Viewer. If you confirm BI is crashing, review the Windows Events article to understand the issue.
What has changed?
The biggest question to ask yourself when observing instability is what has changed?
- Was there a Windows update?
While most users (including myself) never suspect a Windows update can cause issues, it is very possible. Common ticket:
The fix was rolling back a Windows update.I have a blue iris setup, exclusive windows host running for the last couple years without issue. In the last few weeks it has been totally unreliable. I have 3 times wiped the computer and started from scratch, once replacing the hard drive.
If you suspect a Windows update is causing instability, use System Restore to remove the update.Yesterday, I did an uninstall of the latest windows updates. The computer has since been running fine for the last 6 hours or so, versus crashing every15 minutes.
See Windows Tools article for details.
- Was there an update to your Antivirus or Firewall software?
Windows and/or Anti-virus updates have been ruled out.
If you are convinced the latest BI update is causing the instability, the Version Control article will provide guidance on how to go back to your previous version. After rolling back, confirm stability is restored.
At this point, you have to decide whether you want to help engineering identify root cause.
Not everyone has the technical expertise to help engineering get to the root cause.
See Isolate Issue article to understand how to get to the root cause.
If you have a good handle of BI functionality and IT, we appreciate any and all support.
If you do not have this skillset, no worries. BI provides some cool features to save the previous version of the software in case you need to roll back quickly and/or want to change update schedule to latest critical. You may want to consider changing your auto-update schedule at this time to avoid future instability. Version Control article has details.
If you are still reading, you are interested in helping identify the root cause. Reinstall the latest version.
- Verify all Security Software Exemptions as stated above.
- Monitor RAM and CPU usage to verify these are stable leading to the issue.
- Attempt to isolate any source of instability by temporarily disabling specific camera, functionality etc.
See Isolate Issue article for guidance.
Immediate crashes are those that occur within ~5 minutes of starting the software and frequently crashes. This symptom is almost always indicative of hardware incompatibility or issues with a new camera or hardware issues with your server (e.g. hard drive). Keep in mind, if this were a BI issue, there would be 100s - 1000s of tickets and we would most likely contacting you.
- Any clues in the log file as explained above?
- Did you add a new camera? Maybe the conflict is with the hardware and that one particular camera. Simply disable the camera. Does stability return?
Turn off hardware acceleration for all cameras. Global Settings -> Cameras tab -> Hardware accelerated decode = No.
Immediate crashes are frequently due to updated hardware drivers that introduced bugs.
Does stability return? If so, was there a Windows update recently? If a Windows update is the issue, then you may need to leave hardware acceleration (HA) off until there is a Windows resolution. Or you may have to revert back to the previous Windows version. See System Restore section in Windows Tools article.
- Turn the shield to red. This turns off everything besides streaming. If the server still crashes it is one or more camera feeds.
If the server crashes, upon restart, disable all the cameras and activate each one, one by one until you find the bad camera(s).
Alternatively, go through all your camera settings and simplify the streams.
The Camera settings article has details.
I prefer the former method. If users can identify bad cameras, then we can test remotely and resolve the crash.
- Disable all your cameras.
- Turn HA back on for all the cameras at the global level. Global Settings -> Cameras tab -> Hardware accelerated decode. Choose appropriate setting.
- Enable each camera one by one and confirm stability.
If stability does not return, simplify camera encoding settings and check if stability returns. See Camera settings article for details.
Intermittent crashes are ones that occur over time, perhaps 2-3 days. These are tough issues that often leads to major software improvements.
Does CPU/RAM utilization grow over time? Security software (Windows firewall/defender, McAfee etc) having BI file(s) open for scanning is a common cause. Please double-check the BI folders and BI executable are exempted from your security software (Windows firewall/defender, McAfee etc). The Performance and Troubleshooting webinar is a great resource in addition to the Security Software Exemption section in the help file.
Continue observing status -> log for errors. An example of the logs leading to clues was when we received a ticket for frequent crashes. The user reviewed the monthly logs and noticed suddenly on 5/8, BI was receiving frequent write errors. The Status Log Error article provides details. A review of the security exemptions resolved the issue.
It's possible that we introduced a memory leak or adversely affected CPU usage. However, these types of errors would typically result in 100s - 1000s of tickets immediately and we would often be contacting you and all the other users to make everyone aware of the problem. So in general, while there could very well be an issue with BI on your system, we need some patience to diagnose the issue. In the interim, if the instability makes the system unusable, rolling back your BI version or Windows update may be the interim solution to get your system running again.
Identifying the root cause for crashes can be a mystery. We have known users that uninstalled/reinstalled BI, deleted and recreated cameras, reinstalled windows then BI, reinstalled phone apps, unplugged/replugged their hard drives and things miraculously started working again.
If you want to test your hardware before reinstalling Windows, you could run sfc /scannow or DISM to see if the hard drive or Windows has issues. You would need to search on YouTube for guidance. We are not Windows/hardware experts. Posting a question to the forum is a good idea as well.
A very viable next step at this point is to simply rollback Windows using System Restore or re-install Windows using the many Windows options. The Windows Tools article provides options and details.
Isolate the Issue
Troubleshooting and isolating the issue is key to identifying the root cause and resolving the issue. Attempt to isolate the issue by systematically disabling cameras, features, etc until there is stability. What does that mean?
Think of Blue Iris as blocks or modules that work together. The point of below questions is NOT to answer every question. The point of below is to help you think of relevant questions and investigate further to resolve your specific issue.
- If you recently added a new camera, does turning it off resolve the issue?
- If you turn off hardware acceleration for all the cameras, does stability return?
- Can you then start turning hardware acceleration on for each camera to isolate the camera that is in conflict with your hardware acceleration?
- If you turn off cameras from a particular vendor, does stability return?
- Set the shield to red, i.e. let the cameras stream but no trigger, record or alert etc settings are active. Does stability return?
- If stability does not return after turning the shield to red what else is on? This is a big clue.
Are you streaming to YouTube or website?
Are you streaming to your Home Automation system?
Are you posting to a website?
Are there inputs to BI besides cameras? Any DIO devices?
- Is auto-cycle on? Group cycle or camera cycle? Turn it off. Does stability improve?
- Are you uploading files to the cloud via FTP?
- Are you constantly streaming video to a Web Interface, iPad, via mqtt or Webcasting? Does stability improve if you turn it off?
- If stability does return after turning the shield to red, this is also a big clue. Start turning things on like activating triggers, recording and alerts per camera to isolate which cameras or settings are causing the issue.
- If you are using Deepstack, turn Deepstack off. Does stability return?
- Do you frequently see crashes right after common activities in the status log?
- Do you notice crashes when someone connects remotely via the web interface or mobile apps?
Another user started with a generic ticket like many just describing the issue, e.g. "constantly missing notifications". I provided the generic follow-up questions, e.g. did you check the Status -> log for errors. He took the follow-up questions seriously, rolled up his sleeves and was able to discover the "constantly missing notifications" was actually from only one camera because the BI server would crash when Deepstack was running and when an object was found. If an object was not found, the cancel alert worked fine.
In summary, we love customer support that leads to the narrowing down of the problem (usually with reproducible steps) so engineering can then determine where in the software to look and identify the problem. We also realize everyone does not have that level of curiosity or time to help. No worries. In that case, the next best step is often to report the issue and either revert back to the last stable version or wait for the next release. The Version Control article will provide details. You may want to consider changing the BI Update setting from "All available major and minor updates" to "Critical and highly stable updates only".
Needed ticket info. Not everything below is needed. You need to decide what is relevant.
The Isolate Issue article is an example of a ticket that led to quick resolution.
- Include support info in body of email. Global settings -> About tab -> Email support button. Copy/paste information in body of email.
- Describe the issue.
Were you able to isolate the issue? Can you reproduce the crash? If so, what are the reproducible steps?
Do the crashes occur at the same time daily?
Anything change with the machine, Windows or your BI settings?
Does the issue only occur with a particular camera?
Does the issue occur when connecting via a web browser?
Does the issue occur only when recording?
Does the issue occur only with a push notification?
- Ticket summary
This section (in bullet list preferably) lists everything you tried and the results. This information provides the needed clues to determine what to test next.
- Details on your Server setup.
If your setup is anything more than BI running on a Windows 10 machine, we need to know.
Are you running BI on a VM? Details including VM vendor.
Do you have h/w acceleration? NVidia? Intel? Other? Details.
Are you running Deepstack?
- Cameras setup
How many cameras? Make/model.
Screenshot of Status -> Cameras tab.
- Integrations / Use cases
Any DIO inputs besides cameras? Speakers? Motion sensors?
Any unique streaming to 3rd party destinations like websites (YouTube), home automation systems etc?
Are you using the mobile apps or web interface? How many users?
- Windows Information
Include the event viewer crash info. The Troubleshooting and FAQ section in Help provides details. Copy / paste information into body of email. Any other clues seen in Event viewer such as other frequent Errors.